The Mindy Project star Mindy Kaling looks to her own mother, who died in 2012 of pancreatic cancer, for inspiration on what kind of parent she wants to be


Mindy Kaling is ready for baby!

The actress and author confirmed she’s going to be a mom and shared that she’s “really excited” about it during a sit-down with Willie Geist for Sunday Today – the first time she’s spoken publicly about her happy news.

“It’s so unknown to me,” Kaling said in a preview for the interview. “I have a lot of control over a lot of aspects of my life, and this is one where I’m like, ‘Okay, it’s out of my hands,’ which is kind of a fun feeling.”

The Mindy Project star is looking to her own mother, who died of pancreatic cancer in 2012 , for inspiration on what kind of parent she wants to be. “My mom was incredibly fierce and so devoted to us, just loved us and really wanted us to be happy no matter what we did,” she explains.

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“My career choice was not something that she was familiar with and she was just so supportive of that,” the star continues of her mother. “And if I could give that to my child, just that open-mindedness, I’d be so happy.”

Of course, Kaling also threw in some of her trademark humor.

“It’s so easy to criticize parenting until you’re a parent, so one of the nice things about becoming a parent is that I’ll be able to openly criticize other parenting because I will have a child,” she jokes in the interview, which will air in its entirety on Sept. 10.

Credit: Jonathan Leibson/Getty Images for Hulu

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Fans were pleasantly surprised when news broke July 17 that Kaling is expecting her first child.

“Being a mom is something she’s always talked about, but never spoke of a set plan or anything in terms of a timeline of when she wanted it to happen,” an insider told PEOPLE at the time.